Sky received another blow this week as pub operator Greene King announced plans to remove its service from up to half its 1,500 managed and tenanted pubs because the costs could "no longer be justified".
This latest news follows reports two weeks ago that pub companies Bass Leisure Retail, Punch Retail and Scottish & Newcastle Retail had also decided to withdraw Sky from some of their pubs over the summer.
A spokeswoman for Greene King said that the company had reviewed the service on a pub-by-pub basis, assessed sales during key Sky events and talked to pub customers. This is understood to have revealed as many as 50 per cent would be better off without Sky.
A spokesman for Sky said: "Sky sports is in 42 per cent of the UK's pubs and in 75 per cent of Greene king's managed outlets. It has always been the case that independent and group outlets determine where Sky Sports is appropriate to their business."
Sky faces axe over summer (25 June, 2001)
ITV to launch pub sport rival (17 May, 2001)